Hot Glue Gun Not Working: Troubleshooting Your Hot Glue Gun When It’s Not Working Properly
Hot glue guns are indispensible tools for crafters, hobbyists, and DIYers. These nifty devices allow you to quickly and easily adhere materials together using hot melt adhesive. However, like any tool, hot glue guns can malfunction. When your trusty glue gun stops working properly, it can bring your projects to a screeching halt.
With some basic troubleshooting and maintenance, you can often get your glue gun back up and running in no time. Here’s a comprehensive guide to troubleshooting hot glue gun issues and making repairs so you can get back to crafting.
Hot Glue Gun Not Working: Assessing the Issue
The first step in troubleshooting your glue gun is to clearly identify the problem. Here are some of the most common issues that can occur:
- Leaking glue. This usually indicates a problem with the nozzle or an internal leak.
- Poor glue flow or no flow at all. This points to a clogged nozzle or issues with the glue stick advancement mechanism.
- Glue drips out too slowly. This could mean the temperature is too low or the heating element needs to be replaced.
- Surges of glue when pulling the trigger. Typically a result of improperly adjusted settings.
- Glue is stringy or cobwebby. The temperature is likely too low.
- Glue smoke or burned odor. The temperature is too high.
- Glue sticks won’t advance. Something is obstructing the glue stick chamber or the advancement mechanism is broken.
- Gun won’t turn on. Could be a bad power cord, switch, or internal electrical issue.
Once you’ve identified the specific problem, you can begin troubleshooting the potential causes and solutions.
Checking the Basics
Before assuming something is broken and tearing your glue gun apart, it’s smart to do some basic checks.
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Here are a few quick things to verify when troubleshooting hot glue gun issues:
- Make sure the glue gun is plugged in properly and the outlet is functioning.
- Check that the on/off switch is turned to the on position.
- Confirm the correct temperature setting is selected.
- Verify you are using the correct size glue sticks for your gun. The wrong size can cause feeding issues.
- Inspect the electrical cord for damage. Frayed wires can disrupt power supply.
- Clean any dried glue off the exterior of the nozzle. Clogged outer holes can impede flow.
- Test the outlet’s voltage. If low, the gun may not heat properly.
Often, the problem is something as simple as the wrong temperature setting or dried glue clogging the nozzle. Taking a few minutes to check the basics and make adjustments can get your glue gun working again without the need for repairs.
Hot glue leaking from the nozzle or other areas usually indicates a deeper problem within the gun. Here are some steps to identify the cause:
- Leaking from the nozzle generally means the nozzle itself needs to be replaced. The o-rings inside wear out over time.
- Leaking from the gun’s casing points to an internal leak. The heating element, internal tubing, or glue tank could be cracked.
- Leaking when not in use signals a problem with the one-way valve which prevents oozing. Valve replacement is required.
- Leaking from multiple spots that worsens over time is likely due to overheating damage. The affected components will need replacement.
Pinpointing the location of the leakage is key to determining which part needs repair or replacement. Be very careful handling a leaking glue gun, as hot adhesive can burn skin.
Fixing Glue Flow Problems
Lack of glue flow is frustrating. Before assuming your glue gun is broken, try these simple fixes:
- Make sure the heating element is working and up to temperature.
- Verify the correct size glue sticks are being used.
- Remove any jammed glue by carefully inserting a wire in the nozzle.
- Replace the nozzle as they commonly get obstructed.
- Clean out excess dried glue inside the gun using a gun cleaning tool.
- Check the glue stick advancement mechanism for damage and proper motion.
For electric guns, insufficient heating is often the culprit. For cordless battery powered guns, depleted batteries may provide inadequate power. Upgrading to high-temp glue sticks can also help.
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If these steps don’t resolve flow issues, further disassembly and repairs are likely needed. The internal glue delivery components or heating element may need replacement.
Stringy, Gummy Glue Troubleshooting
Glue that’s stringy or gummy indicates the temperature is too low. Try these tips:
- Turn up the temperature setting slightly if available on your model.
- Use a thermometer to check the actual temperature—the regulator may be malfunctioning.
- Switch to a higher-temp glue formula designed for your gun.
- Test the electrical connections to the heating element for corrosion and loose wires.
- Replace the temperature control component if faulty.
With the right temperature and glue stick combo, you should achieve a smooth melted adhesive consistency and flow.
Fixing Oozing or Surging Glue
If glue oozes out or surges from the nozzle in blobs, the temperature may be too high. Here’s how to get it adjusted properly:
- Lower the temperature dial slightly—go in 10 degree increments.
- Try a lower-temp glue stick made for your gun.
- Check for loose wiring related to the temperature controls and heating element.
- Replace the temperature regulator if malfunctioning.
- Adjust the air pressure on pneumatic guns.
The goal is smooth, even glue flow without drips and surges. Tweaking settings and testing will get you there.
Troubleshooting Glue Stick Feeding Problems
When glue sticks won’t properly advance, the problem is either a clog or an issue with the feed mechanism. Try this:
- Carefully insert a wire into the nozzle to remove any stuck glue.
- Make sure glue sticks are the correct diameter. Too large won’t feed.
- Take apart the gun and inspect the feed mechanism for damage.
- Look for obstructions in the feed chamber like old glue or craft supplies.
- Replace broken feed components like grippers and gear wheels.
- Ensure the trigger and internal trigger mechanism moves freely.
With the clog cleared out, the glue sticks should once again advance smoothly as glue is dispensed.
Diagnosing Power Problems
If your electric glue gun won’t turn on at all, start troubleshooting with these steps:
- Check that the cord is plugged in fully and the outlet is active.
- Inspect the power cord for damage and loose prongs.
- Test the outlet’s voltage to make sure power is adequate.
- Press the on/off switch several times to confirm proper function.
- Check that the fuse or circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.
- Remove the housing and inspect internal wiring for loose connections.
- Replace worn components like switches, fuses, wires, and insulation.
- Test the heating element for continuity.
For battery-powered guns, replace or recharge depleted batteries. If issues persist after wiring and connections are verified, the switch, internal circuitry, or heating element itself may need replacement.
Performing Basic Maintenance
Your hot glue gun will function better and last longer with regular maintenance. Here are some tips:
- Always disconnect the glue gun and let fully cool before cleaning.
- Wipe off excess glue around the nozzle after each use.
- Clean the nozzle thoroughly with a gun cleaning tool as needed.
- Use denatured alcohol to remove stuck-on glue residue.
- Apply a light coating of lubricant on moving parts.
- Check wiring and heating element connections periodically.
- When not in use for extended time, remove glue sticks.
- Store in a clean, dry location away from dust and dirt.
Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and upkeep will maximize your glue gun’s lifespan.
Knowing When to Call a Repair Pro
While many glue gun issues can be fixed with basic troubleshooting and maintenance, some malfunctions require disassembly and complex repairs. If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable digging that deep into your glue gun’s inner workings, don’t force it.
Instead, seek assistance from a qualified repair professional. We have expert technicians familiar with all hot glue gun models. We can perform intricate repairs like replacing heating elements, electronic components, valves and internal tubing that the average user cannot.
Our extensive inventory of glue gun replacement parts ensures we can get your device up and running again quickly. We even offer mail-in repair services, making fixes fast and convenient.
Repairing a high-end industrial glue gun requires special expertise. Our experienced techs have the skills to resolve even major issues on commercial grade glue guns using specialty tools and testing equipment.
Don’t let a broken glue gun slow you down. With our help, most common hot glue gun problems can be diagnosed and fixed so you can get back to crafting and fixing in no time. We offer troubleshooting tips, maintenance advice, and professional repairs for all makes and models.
Whether it’s a clogged nozzle, electrical problem, or mechanical issue, we have the solution. Contact our repair experts today and let us analyze your glue gun issues. We can troubleshoot over the phone and provide an upfront quote for repairs so you know exactly what to expect cost-wise. We aim to get your glue gun back in working order as quickly as possible. Our quality workmanship and extensive experience make us the #1 choice for all your glue gun repair needs.